A Man’s Life
‘I wished my family would die, my friends too, everybody I knew, because only that way could they never follow me wherever I went.’
My Enemy’s Cherry Tree
‘And the truth is, my heart was tied in knots, and pain bored into the marrow of my bones when I heard about his illness.’
‘It had taken Noni many years to stop wishing she’d been a woman like that.’
‘For the governesses, moving in with Monsieur and Madame Austeur was like a homecoming.’
The Pine Islands
‘Gilbert Silvester woke up distraught. Mathilda’s black hair lay spread out on the pillow next to him, tentacles of a malevolent pitch-black jellyfish.’
New fiction from Olga Tokarczuk, translated from the Polish by Jennifer Croft.
The Nature of Man
‘Viewed from above, the traffic was reflective as water, cars moving in wavelike shimmers over the surface of the freeway.’
‘I put the breast milk in the fridge and lie down on the bed. I pretend I am dead, underneath the earth with a bag of Cheetos.’
‘Haste did not grip the animal. He paced before me languidly, tracing small circles; then, in a single pounce he reached the fireplace.’
Letter of Apology
‘One can only argue with an intellectual like Konstantyn Illych if one speaks to him on his level.’
‘We have to reverse-engineer our genius so that we can appreciate the simple things.’
A young film composer turns to prostitution in a short story by Naben Ruthnum, set in a Rome of the early 1970s.
‘The Minutes’ by Nell Stevens is shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award 2018.